Financial Markets Assess the Probability of the U.S. Fed Pausing Rate Hikes in the Current Month at Over 90%

In an upcoming meeting set for September 20, the Federal Reserve System will continue to be closely scrutinized by financial markets and investors worldwide. Recent signals from financial markets have made the likelihood of the Fed pausing its interest rate hikes increasingly evident, with the probability now exceeding 93%, according to CME FedWatch.

Source: CME FedWatch Tool

Back in July, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rates to the highest level in 22 years, primarily in a bid to curb rising inflation. However, uncertainty regarding the state of the economy and inflation dynamics continues to shadow the Fed’s decision-making process. Despite the rate hike, they remain poised to make further adjustments if necessary to ensure economic stability.

Financial markets currently assess the probability of the Fed pausing rate hikes in the meeting scheduled for September 19-20 to be over 90%, but this percentage drops to around 60% for November. This demonstrates the uncertainty about the future and the complexity of the Fed’s interest rate decisions.

Some analysts believe that the Fed may decide to keep interest rates unchanged until year-end if there are signs that the labor market and the economy continue to cool down, helping to rein in inflation. However, this also depends on various factors, such as American consumer spending habits and whether banks continue to tighten lending standards.

Leslie Thompson, Director of Investments at Spectrum Wealth Management, shared her perspective on the situation: “Upcoming data could indicate a slowdown in inflation. This would mean the Fed could keep interest rates unchanged until year-end. However, I believe they will maintain interest rates at a higher level for some time.”

The uncertainty surrounding the Fed’s future interest rate actions is a complex issue with many different viewpoints. Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Fed, has emphasized the Fed’s vigilance against unexpected inflation and maintains the option to raise interest rates as a precaution against this scenario.

The decision to pause rate hikes in September but potentially resume them in November could be part of the Fed’s strategy to manage inflation and transition to a more stable interest rate environment. The Fed’s goal is to achieve economic stability amid inflation and economic volatility.

However, differing opinions persist among the Fed’s policymakers. Susan Collins, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, noted, “We still need to raise interest rates further, and we are very close to the stability level of interest rates.” Meanwhile, Raphael Bostic, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, stated, “I feel that the policy has tightened appropriately. We should be cautious and patient in waiting for the policy’s impact on the economy to avoid over-tightening and causing unnecessary economic harm.”

The uncertainty about the Fed’s interest rate policy’s future continues to exist, increasing tension and concern in financial markets. The final decision by the Fed will have significant implications for the stability of the U.S. and global economies, and everyone is eagerly awaiting to see what decision they make in the coming weeks.

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